• Alex Paltos
    University of Sydney
    1st Grade Teacher
    Pudong Lower School
    G’day! My name is Alex Paltos and I am the new first grade teacher at SCIS Pudong. I have been in education for over 14 years across three continents – London, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney – and have taught the British, Australian and IB curriculums. Although I am well travelled, I am a Melbourne boy at heart and therefore naturally love all things sport, especially AFL and Cricket (feel free to talk to me about the Mighty Hawks or Australia’s current batting order!). Being outdoors and active is in my DNA, however I am equally passionate about music, television and film, and am always looking for a cultural ‘buzz’ wherever I go. My sense of humor and global experiences really help me connect with pupils and staff from all walks of life and I thoroughly believe that a positive, respectful and trusting relationship must be established before any true teaching and learning can take place. My classroom is a place where children learn through meaningful, hands-on experiences and practice new skills in a number of ways to develop confidence and independence. I'm looking forward to a fantastic year in Pudong!
  • Paul Pavao
    Wilkes university
    Grade 3 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Paul Pavao. I am joining SCIS this year with my wife Cathy, who teaches Grade 1 at the ECE Campus, and our 20-month old son, Arlo. I enjoy travelling and look forward to experiencing life in Shanghai with my family. I have a Master of Education in Instructional Media from Wilkes University in the U.S., along with a Bachelor of Education (K-8) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from Queen’s University in Canada. I have been teaching in international schools for the past 16 years, first as an elementary classroom teacher, and the last five years as a technology integrationist in Moscow, Russia and Zug, Switzerland. I am looking forward to being back in the classroom, and to being part of the Lower School community at SCIS.
  • Cristina Peláez
    Saint Michaels College
    Kindergarten Teacher
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    I am thrilled to start my 11th year at SCIS and to continue to be part of this amazing school community. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education with a teaching certificate in primary education in my native Bogotá (Colombia), and a master's degree in TESL in Vermont, USA. I lived in Canada since the winter of 2001 until my arrival to Shanghai in the summer of 2005. During that time in Quebec I taught preschool, kindergarten, and K- adult ESOL and Spanish. During my teaching years in Colombia, I taught mostly first grade, but also 4th and 5th grade science and language arts, and also high school French. Over these many years I have never stopped feeling the outmost respect and wonder for the unlimited capacity that children have to learn. I am fully committed to providing an enriched, loving environment in the classroom that allows them to discover their particular learning styles and to develop their academic and personal potential. When not in the classroom, I enjoy travelling and sharing my Latin heritage.
  • Cleo Peterson
    Seattle University
    Primary School Teacher
    Pudong Lower School
    Hello! My name is Cleo Peterson and I am thrilled to be teaching at SCIS at the Pudong Lower School campus. I am originally from Washington State and grew up in a small town called Walla Walla. I received my Bachelor's degree in Studio Art and French at the University of Puget Sound and proceeded to work many an odd job, including toy maker and luthier, before setting my heart on teaching. My Master in Teaching degree is from Seattle University and I’ve previously taught a variety of primary school grades both in France and the United States. I also love to travel and look forward to discovering all that China and Shanghai have to offer. Most of my hobbies revolve around the arts or the outdoors and include skiing, backpacking, painting/drawing, and paragliding. I am excited to be apart of the SCIS family and I look forward to learning alongside my students as we explore the world and myriad cultures around us!
  • Cheryl Philp
    Aberdeen College
    Head of Aquatics
    Hongqiao Campus
    I am delighted to be a part of this great caring and nurturing school. I am thoroughly looking forward to push forward with all aspects of the swimming program for all ages and stages. This is my 15th year within swimming teaching and coaching, within these years I have been fortunate enough to have worked in Scotland (my home country), America and China. As a swimming coach my primary focus is providing a fluid swimming program that has the focus of the swimmers long term plan as an athlete, at the heart of program. Within the Swim Team we strive to ensure that through participation in the swimming team that we can aid development within the following attributes: time management skills, dedication, perseverance and being able to set realistic and achievable goals. I hope that we can prove to our students that with a combination of these attributes paired with a positive & open mind-set that these lessons that we can learn through sport can help us live a life without limitations, now and in the future. Within my down time I enjoy living life to the full and taking every opportunity to interact with nature and people who provide me with positive energy. A day spend outside being active with people I love is my idea of the perfect day. I also believe in laughter (usually loudly) and keeping your mind open and bright as good ways to live well. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of the families here at SCIS.
  • Jennifer Pigott
    University of Toronto
    Middle School Music
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hi everyone! My name is Jenny Pigott and I am thrilled to be teaching Middle School Band and Guitar at SCIS. I earned my Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto and my Bachelor of Education from Queen's University. My first teaching experience upon graduating was in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia where I had the privilege of teaching kindergarten through high school music for two years. Following that, my husband and I returned to Canada where I was the music teacher at a high school in Prince Edward County, Ontario for over two years. I love to sing and to perform on the flute and the guitar and have a passion for all things musical theatre. I'm really looking forward to getting to know my new students this year!
  • Stacey Poncia
    Notre Dame De Namur University
    Early Years Coordinator
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    Hello! My name is Stacey Poncia and I am thrilled to join the SCIS community as the Early Years Coordinator at the Hongqiao-ECE Campus. I am looking forward to supporting teachers, children, parents and administration here on campus. My experience working with children, families and teachers spans nearly 18 years; with 10 years of full time supervising youth and teen programs for local cities and most recently as the director for a small preschool located just south of San Francisco, California. In my free time, you may find me searching for adventures around the city or digging in our school gardens as I plan and prepare some fantastic outside learning opportunities through organic gardening. Although I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am happy to call Shanghai my new home. 
  • Lee Pophal
    University of Wisconsin
    US & MS Strings
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hello, my name is Lee Pophal and I am teaching orchestra as the MS/HS Strings Teacher at the Hongqiao campus. I'm very excited to begin my fourth year at SCIS. I was born in the U.S.A. state of Wisconsin and completed my Bachelor degree in Music Education with a focus on Instrumental and General Music. Thereafter, I moved to the state of California to teach high school instrumental music (band, orchestra, jazz, and more!). I also served as conductor for the Bakersfield College and Tehachapi Pops orchestras. After moving to SCIS, I have continued to develop a performance-based curriculum with a strong emphasis on theory and composition. I also work to develop community outreach through performance and interdisciplinary arts collaboration.
  • Rachel Punter
    Kingston University
    IB DP Chemistry
    Hongqiao Upper School
    I am delighted to be here at SCIS teaching IB DP Chemistry and HS Science. Having first majored in Applied Chemistry at Kingston University in the UK, I also have a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY Buffalo and have had the pleasure of working in the UK, Kuwait, Dubai, New Zealand, Peru, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, and now Shanghai. I love my job and am passionate about my students’ success, always endeavoring to make science accessible and fun, and devising strategies to help all my students develop a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and their applications.
  • Emily Putnam
    University of Redlands
    Pudong Lower School
    Hi there! I'm Emily Putnam. I am a native of sunny Southern California and have been an Early Childhood Educator for nine years in the United States as well as in Thailand and the Philippines. I am excited to be part of the team at SCIS Pudong and look forward to a year of learning and fun! I am an avid hiker and have successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and spent last summer exploring the Inka Trail and South America. I am a bit of an adrenalin junkie and have been skydiving twice and bungee jumped from the Macau tower. When I’m not hiking or jumping off/out of things, I enjoy arts and crafts, riding my mountain bike, volunteering within my community, reading, and of course traveling the world!